I rarely have a few hours to sit down and watch a movie. Do you?
But, I took the time recently to view my friends at HORSEFLY FILMS‘ documentary on the history of the Polish Arab horse, PATH TO GLORY; The Rise and Rise of the Polish Arabian Horse.
There were 2 DVDs included so I figured I’d watch probably a quarter of it and then come back another day… until I had watched it all.
WELL… WAS I WRONG! As soon as I popped the first DVD into my computer, I was a goner. I watched the entire 2 discs, the Special Features and every single extra chapter plus the blooper reel… and I wanted MORE.
It was so fascinating and well done, I couldn’t tear myself away. Before this film, I really had no idea about the Polish Arab – and now I am a huge fan!
WHAT IS A ‘POLISH’ ARAB, ANYWAY?
If you are like me, I knew the term, “Polish Arab” but it made no sense to me. How could a Polish horse be an Arab and vice versa.
The truth is that the Polish Arab is an Arab horse that has been bred specifically and with exacting measures, by the Polish Government.
Well this is very interesting. Through all the feudal times and waring nations in Europe, a prized possession of the winner over Arabia, was their horse. Europeans could unite on this one concept, the Arabs had the best horses. As luck would have it, the Polish people were able to acquire a large number of these Arabs… and through time, came to regard these horses quite highly – and created a very precise breeding program to ensure their quality which begot a National Product and National Treasure.
The Polish Arab horse was one of Poland’s top GNP for many years.
I found the entire documentary fascinating.
They take you through the beginning of the Arab horse, the wars, early Poland, more wars, the establishing genetic markers, the foundation stallions and mares, the incredible boon and incredible bust of the Polish Arab market in America and how this incredible horse has survived it all.
POLISH GOVERNMENT BREEDING PROGRAM
The fact that the Polish Government – namely one man – was in charge of the Polish Arab program for years, is really quite telling – and amazing. This one man made all the decision on who would breed to whom, who would be sold, who would be exported… He was THE Polish Arab breeder. Luckily, he was great at it.
Since true breeding bloodlines had to be imported from Poland, this created a large demand. This large demand created very high prices… (Some of you may remember Wayne Newton and his huge ranch of Polish Arabians.) These high prices created a Polish National Product and treasure.
Horsefly Films actually went to Poland and interviewed the key players in this government breeding program. They were fortunate to meet these celebrated foundation horses and speak to the people who made all of the decisions for the last 60 years.
I found that amazing and brain exploding. Listening to the history makers tell their stories was enthralling and inspiring. I literally was a few inches away from my computer screen so I could see every detail of incredible beauty and grace in these gorgeous superstars of the Polish Arabian horse breeding program.
I loved this film! I am now a fan of the Polish Arab – how could I not?!
Here is the website… I have no affiliation other than I admire these women filmmakers and horsemen.
I am sure you will love this film and keep it in your library.
I bought my copy of The Path to Glory when it first came out and it was $60. This is a good price. The Polish Arabian seems to be accepted by all as “the best”. They just know how to put them together. The Polish National Champion, Pogrom, competed at Scottsdale a couple of years ago and no one had to point him out to even a novice. He just had IT. They raise all of their horses to race and at some part of their life they do. However, it is their conditioning that sets them apart as well as their genes. They produce great endurance horses. The Tevis is full of Polish Arabians. The great Sheila Varian’s foundation mares were imported from Poland. They are the best and with the great temperament. Thanks for showing them to folks who otherwise might never have known about them.
Also thanks for all of the good work that you do.